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Why is insurance needed?
Insurance is one way of protecting yourself against the risk of unexpected financial losses. It does not remove the risk, but it can partially compensate for losses incurred. Through the payment of premiums, you transfer the cost of a major loss from you to an insurance company

Insurance operates on the principle of shared risk. A group of people pays in specified premiums to a common pool. Funds from the pool are used to cover individual losses. The amount of premium each individual pays is based on the frequency of past losses by the group, plus the costs of administration and selling, divided by the number in the group.

Insurance is the foundation of financial security for you and your family. It protects your financial resources against the uncertainties of life so you can plan for the future. Choosing an insurance product is an important decision, but it can be complicated. This is where the role of experts, i.e. insurance brokers comes into play.
What does a broker do?
The broker's task is to help one identify the risks that a person or his business may be exposed to. Broker can then advise on what risks should be insured against, and then the broker will canvass the insurance market to obtain the best insurance protection to meet your needs, at a competitive price. The broker then arranges the insurance policy, and documentation, and can also help you with information when required, especially if you have a claim, and your broker will remind you when policies are due for renewal or amendment
Your broker will provide ongoing services?

Insurance brokers undertake all the detailed discussions and negotiations on insurance matters for you, leaving you free to get on with running your business or tending to your own daily responsibilities.

As your circumstances change, the broker will review your policies ensuring that the policy is appropriate, and that you remain well protected. He may suggest amendments to the policies in the light of market changes or changes in your business or domestic situation. This expertise is aimed at saving insurance costs and improving the effectiveness of the cover.
What is risk management?
Brokers suggest to their clients to adopt risk management procedures and systems to reduce their risks, and make savings on their insurance premiums. Risk management is all about taking precautions to reduce the risk of loss - this might include fitting smoke alarms or sprinkler systems, or extra security on windows and doors. In commercial premises, it might involve safer working practices within the factory or more staff training in safety, or even practice fire drills and evacuation procedures. There are financial risk management techniques as well for larger businesses, which are all designed to lower insurance risk exposures and costs.
Which broker should I deal with?
It is always important to deal with an insurance broker who is a member of the Insurance Brokers Association of India. This is the professional body, which ensures that broker members operate with accuracy, efficiency, and professionalism, as set down in the Code of Conduct to protect you as their client.
Can I change broker at any time?
Yes, you can change brokers without any risk to your insurance programme. Policies are normally put in place for twelve months, and it makes sound sense to let the policy run for the year unless there are serious reasons for shifting it. However, you can change brokers at any time. A simple letter of appointment is all that brokers need to begin acting on a client's behalf, and your new broker can negotiate a change in insurer also if that is really required. However, if you change mid term, you may incur cancellation charges from the insurer.
How are insurance brokers paid?
Commission is the most common form of payment by the insurance company to the broker who places your business. This commission is paid for the work the broker carried out, including documentation etc. A broker administration charge may also be charged. If this is the case, a notation to this effect will show on the invoice.

However, some brokers arrange with their clients to charge a fee for service.
Isn't it cheaper to go to the insurance company direct?

Insurers have to pay for administration by their own staff, and many direct sellers incur heavy advertising costs, so you wont necessarily find it cheaper to go direct to the insurer. Not all policies are the same so you would have to telephone or call around at about eight major companies to get an impression of what is available.

Brokers are often able to get more competitive prices for insurance because they handle much of the administration for the insurer, and because they place a volume of business, which earns them cheaper prices, which they pass on to you.

Consumers should also be wary of a "cheap product". Brokers select the most suitable cover for your particular needs, which may not always be the cheapest.
How can I be sure they are not just selling me a product off the shelf?

Everyone's insurance protection needs are different. Brokers are able to negotiate with insurers to extend or adapt policies to their client's advantage. They are able to tailor protection programmes to your requirements and they can often achieve results, which you could not achieve as an individual.

Brokers want to develop long-term relationships with their clients so they want to the do the right thing by you. They don't want to sell you an unsuitable product, just because it is easy or pays high commission. That is not being profession or ethical. They want the product, which is best, suited to you and your needs and this may not necessarily be the cheapest available.

A broker provides a very useful service in processing insurance claims. An integral part of the broker's service is to lodge claims on your behalf. If required they can assist with the completion of all the necessary documentation and coordinating the loss adjuster, the insurance company and the tradesmen necessary to make any repairs.

A broker can ensure that no time is lost in processing the claim by ensuring all the necessary information is provided to the insurer
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